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How to Fix Startup Disk Full Message?

Message comes up that the startup disc is full when updates arrive. I have plenty of space available on iCloud but obviously not enough on my MacBook pro. Am I wrong in thinking that files will automatically be shifted to iCloud to make room for the updates? Also if I ignore this message does that mean the updates have not taken place. Maybe a standalone drive would be best rather than iCloud.
Mark Scully

Comments: 3 Responses to “How to Fix Startup Disk Full Message?”

    5 years ago

    How much storage space do you have and how much is in use? Do you have things on there you can clear off?

    Normally, iCloud works to sync all of your files between your Macs, but it doesn't remove any of them from your Mac. You can set it to do so using the two "optimize" options. One is for files and the other for Photos. Turn those on and it will start saving you some space.

    Understanding iCloud Drive and the Optimize Mac Storage Option

    How To Optimize Photo Storage On Your iPhone

    A standalone drive is a very different thing from iCloud. All you would be able to do with an external drive is to take some old files you probably don't need anymore, copy them to this external drive as an archive, and then delete them from your Mac to save space. But that has nothing to do with iCloud. It is almost the opposite as your files would be available nowhere instead of everywhere.

    But it does sound like you need to clear off some space. Maybe this will help:

    13 Ways To Free Space On Your Mac

    Inventory Your Disk Space

    5 years ago

    I found if someone leaves Time Machine on but unplugs the external backup disk that Time Machine will backup to the Mac's internal disk once every 24 hours thus using up the startup disk.

    5 years ago

    Shirley: That is "Local Snapshots" ( and it doesn't really use disk space. It uses empty disk space, but still marks that space as available. So it makes good use of what would normally be empty bits. It is a common misconception that local snapshots take up space as they really don't. I think some older or poor disk space tools misreport this space, confusing people.

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